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Publication numberUS5722551 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/684,703
Publication dateMar 3, 1998
Filing dateJul 19, 1996
Priority dateJul 19, 1996
Fee statusLapsed
Publication number08684703, 684703, US 5722551 A, US 5722551A, US-A-5722551, US5722551 A, US5722551A
InventorsDominick Cocciemiglio, Jr.
Original AssigneeCocciemiglio, Jr.; Dominick
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Crate assembly and panel connecting clip
US 5722551 A
Abstract
The panel connecting clip herein exhibits paired, transversely positioned, panel receiving channels. A ridge is provided along at least one side of each channel to engage a groove cut in the panel. A crate assembly is formed by employing the connector clips along each edge of the enclosure, including the top and bottom edges. By forming the connector clips of flexible material, the panel edges are easily pushed into the channel, forcing the channel apart sufficiently to allow the panel edge to slide past the ridge. When the panel is fully inserted, the ridge of the connector clip snaps into the groove of the panel to secure the panel in position.
Images(4)
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Claims(10)
I claim:
1. A panel connecting clip for joining adjacent grooved panels comprising:
a first channel including a base positioned at the rear of said first channel, said first channel having an inner side wall and an outer side wall extending forwardly from said base;
a second channel attached transversely to said first channel and including a base positioned at the rear of said second channel, said second channel having an inner side wall and an outer side wail extending forwardly from said base; and
groove engaging means within said first and second channels comprising a ridge projecting from a side wall of each of said respective channels, said ridge exhibiting a forward sloping front side and a substantially perpendicularly projecting rear catch side.
2. The panel connecting clip of claim 1 wherein said panel connecting clip comprises an integral unit.
3. The panel connecting clip of claim 1 wherein said first and second channels are affixed one to the other in perpendicular relation.
4. The panel connecting clip of claim 1 wherein said base of said second channel is positioned to abut said inner side wall of said first channel.
5. The panel connecting clip of claim 1 wherein said ridges are positioned to project from said inner side walls of said respective channels.
6. A panel assembly comprising:
a plurality of panels, wherein each of said panels includes grooves defined along adjoining sides of each respective panel; and
a panel connecting clip positioned to connect adjoining panels, wherein each respective clip comprises;
a first channel including a base defined at the rear of said first channel, said first channel having an inner side wall and an outer side wall extending forwardly from said base,
a second channel attached transversely to said first channel and including a base defined at the rear of said second channel, said second channel having an inner side wall and an outer side wall extending forwardly from said base, and
groove engaging means within said first and second channels comprising a ridge projecting from a side wall of each of said respective channels, said ridge exhibiting a forward sloping front side and a substantially perpendicularly projecting rear catch side.
7. The panel connecting clip of claim 6 wherein said first and second channels are affixed one to the other in perpendicular relation.
8. The panel connecting clip of claim 6 wherein said base of said second channel is positioned to abut said inner side wall of said first channel.
9. The panel connecting clip of claim 6 wherein said ridges are positioned to project from said inner side walls of said respective channels.
10. The panel connecting clip of claim 6 wherein said panel connecting clip comprises an integral unit.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to crates for shipping use and more particularly to a new crate assembly and a panel connecting clip to accomplish the assembly.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The need for a crate assembly system for constructing shipping crates or other multiple panel structures which facilitate their assembly and reuse has been well appreciated. Typical of traditional systems has been the use of flexible metal straps for securing panels together to form a crate. When the crate is opened, the straps are cut and discarded, and reassembly is accomplished with the use of new straps.

In another prior art design (U.S. Pat. No. 3,563,578) screws are inserted into side panels such that the screw heads protrude into slots formed in the base of the crate. Of course the drawback in this design is the requirement that screws must be individually accurately positioned and a specially contoured slot must be formed into the base. Additionally, no device is provided to connect side panel to side panel.

More recently, a panel fastening device (U.S. Pat. No. 4,139,113) presented a metal spring clip which spans the corner formed by adjacent panels to engage detent hardware positioned on the panels. This system suffers from a similar deficiency of the above-mentioned crate, in that specific hardware must be laboriously positioned individually to accurately mate with the spring clips.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a novel panel connector clip and crate assembly which achieves the long sought quick assembly and disassembly but without the need to laboriously attach and accurately position custom hardware.

The panel connector clip herein exhibits paired, transversely positioned, panel receiving channels. A ridge is provided along at least one side of each channel to engage a matching groove pre-cut into the panels used to form the crate. A crate assembly is formed by employing the connector clips along each edge of the crate enclosure, including the top and bottom edges. By forming the connector clips of flexible material, the panel edges are easily pushed into the channel, forcing the channel apart to allow the panel to slide past the ridge. When the panel is fully inserted, the ridge of the connector clip snaps into the groove of the panel and secures the panel in position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an assembled crate employing the panel connecting clip of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a portion of the crate of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross section view of the assembled crate of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a panel connecting clip of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the clip of FIG. 4.

While the invention will be described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that it is not the intent to limit the invention to that embodiment. On the contrary, it is the intent to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Turning first to FIG. 1 there is shown a crate assembled with a panel connecting clip in accordance with the present invention. This crate employs side panels 12, top and bottom panels 14, side panel connecting clips 16, and top and bottom panel connecting clips 18.

The panel connecting clip of the preferred embodiment (FIGS. 4, 5) presents paired channels 22 and 24, mounted transversely relative to each other. Each channel includes a base 30, an inner side wall 32 and an outer side wall 34, and in the embodiment shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the base of one of the channels abuts the inner side wall of the paired channel. Along the inner side wall within each channel and spaced from the base 30 of each channel, a ridge 36 extends longitudinally of the channel (parallel to the base 30). This ridge, in cross section (FIG. 5), forms a projection from the side wall having a forward sloping front side 40 and a rear catch side 42. (In the preferred embodiment, this rear catch side projects perpendicularly from the side wall into the channel.)

Assembly of a crate by joining panels with the panel connecting clip is illustrated best in FIG. 2. A panel 12 is first pre-cut with grooves 50, the outer edges of which are spaced from the edges of the panel by a distance 52 which equals the distance 54 between the base of the channel and the catch side 42 of the ridge. The width of the groove is cut sufficiently wide to accommodate the width of the ridge. Consequently, the connector clip may be either slid onto the panel endwise, by aligning the ridge of the connector clip with groove; or alternatively, by utilizing the flex in the side walls of the connector clips, the panels can be pushed directly into the channel. When the panel edge is pushed against the sloping side of the ridge, the channel of the connector clip spreads slightly and allows the panel to slide past. Once the groove envelops the ridge, the resiliency of the connector clip causes the ridge to snap into the groove and thereby to engage the panel.

Attachment of the panel connecting clips is repeated on all sides of all panels, including the top and bottom, to complete a crate. However, the connector clips used on the top and bottom, in the preferred embodiment shown, are mitered at the corners 62. Otherwise, the connector clips are the same as used on the sides and described above.

From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that modifications can be made to the apparatus and method for using same without departing from the teachings of the present invention. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is only to be limited as necessitated by the accompanying claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3266656 *Jan 2, 1964Aug 16, 1966Kridle Charles EDemountable shipping case
US5497895 *Feb 17, 1994Mar 12, 1996Euro-Composites S.A.Transport container
US5638973 *May 9, 1996Jun 17, 1997Western Poly CorporationStorage container with interlocking corner members
WO1994001333A1 *May 20, 1993Jan 20, 1994Flight Group LimitedMethods and apparatus for collapsible storage structures
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5826721 *May 22, 1997Oct 27, 1998Zeon Kasei Co., Ltd.Rolled article storing and transporting container
US6315495 *Apr 22, 2000Nov 13, 2001Scot A StarheimPortable environmental containment system
US6499260Feb 23, 2000Dec 31, 2002Amtech CorporationPortable greenhouse structure and method and apparatus for assembling same
US6554148 *Oct 25, 2000Apr 29, 2003David R. FernandezPedestal display and storage system
US6557221Oct 4, 2001May 6, 2003Batesville Services, Inc.Cremation container foldable into compact configuration for shipping
US6571440 *Jan 28, 2000Jun 3, 2003Batesville Services, Inc.Cremation container foldable into compact configuration for shipping
US6749077 *Feb 9, 2000Jun 15, 2004Mcalpine Gilroy ClementsCollapsible crate and associated connecting means
US6858138 *May 14, 2003Feb 22, 2005Ez Tanks, Inc.Septic tank kit
US6901946Jul 9, 2002Jun 7, 2005Expopower Systems, Inc.Modular spill containment system and method
US7124771Sep 21, 2001Oct 24, 2006Expo Power Systems, Inc.Spill containment system and method
US7591053 *Jan 24, 2007Sep 22, 2009Giuseppe Bosisio S.R.L.Modular structure for cemetery constructions
US7691526May 22, 2002Apr 6, 2010Expo Power Systems, Inc.Spill containment system with a flexible corrosion-resistant liner
US8235217 *May 24, 2005Aug 7, 2012Stolzman Michael DBulk container with cap and pallet base
US8459314May 19, 2010Jun 11, 2013Expo Power Systems, Inc.Battery spill containment trays, battery spill containment systems, and methods of battery spill containment
US8602241 *Nov 28, 2012Dec 10, 2013Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd.Multi-size universal jointed package box
US8667979Aug 24, 2006Mar 11, 2014Environmental Compliance Solutions, LlcBattery rack with spill containment
WO2000059789A1 *Apr 4, 2000Oct 12, 2000Sutcliffe Henry LtdPanel assembly
WO2008071813A1 *Nov 30, 2007Jun 19, 2008Sist S Y Procesos De EmbalajeDismountable box
Classifications
U.S. Classification220/4.33
International ClassificationB65D90/04, B65D90/08, F16B12/42
Cooperative ClassificationB65D9/24, F16B12/42, B65D90/08
European ClassificationB65D90/08, B65D9/24, F16B12/42
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 2, 2006FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20060303
Mar 3, 2006LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Sep 21, 2005REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Mar 21, 2001FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4